Finally A Free Day…

Lunch in Nice Old Town

It seems like ages that we have been working all day and night, preparing for our Spring program here in Monaco. Finally, our efforts paid off when we performed this past weekend. The program consisted of Jean Christophe Maillot’s Altro Canto, Body Re-Mix by Marie Choinard, and a new premiere by one of our own dancers, Jeroen Verbruggen called Kill Bambi. All these new pieces meant, however, that we worked three weeks straight without even a Sunday to neutralize before the next week. At last, now that it is all over, we have two blissful days to do absolutely nothing!

Ediz and I are not very good at doing nothing, despite the fact that we have been dreaming about these days for the past month. I woke up early, as usual, and got right down to cleaning up the apartment, which had fallen in to quite a disarray. Laundry, dishes, papers from my studies, pointe shoes that had been discarded, everything was all over. In little to no time (while he was still sleeping), I managed to make the living room presentable. Only the five heaping bags of laundry left, but unfortunately that has to be brought to the company (see earlier blog, Laundry Laments). Anyways, when he woke up, we had a nice breakfast on the balcony ( I had cleaned that up as well, since the flowers had started to look like a tropical jungle). As we sipped our tea, we debated “which way” to go.  Towards Italy usually involves either Menton, Ventimiglia, Bordghidera, or San Remo, and France means Nice, Antibes, Cannes, or beyond (we have yet to go “beyond”…) Too tired to make an ambitious road-trip, we settled for Nice.

The weather was perfect, bright sun and a little breeze, and we cruised down the Moyenne Corniche with the roof down of my little Smart. Amazingly, we found a parking spot, which is usually impossible. But then I remembered,  Oh right, It’s a Monday! It’s kind of nice to be free when everyone else is just starting their work week. We strolled into Vieux Nice, to the large open Place de Marchés. There was a Flea Market, with all sorts of stands selling everything from paintings to silverware to furniture. It was not quite as grungy as the ones Berlin, but definitely some interesting things. By this time, Ediz was hungry (surprise, surprise), so we sat down in a little café in the middle of the square.

“I feel like being really French, let’s have oysters and rosé!” he decided as we took our menus. I really detest oysters, but I was up for having some rosé. There is nothing that says “vacation” or “free day” like having wine with lunch. I suppose that’s why the French are so laid back and easy-going, because they always do! Seeing the oysters cost 25 euros for a plate of 6, we opted for the next best choice, mussels.

Les Moules, s’il vous plait” Ediz practiced his slowly improving French. “Et…Rosé!” he had almost forgotten as the waiter turned around. Although the request was somewhat abrupt and not at all in proper French, the waiter understood and smiled knowingly. I think they always appreciate if we at least try to speak in French, even if it doesn’t come out quite right. He brought out two glasses, and a side of ice cubes. For some reason, this is the way to drink rosé at lunch: You must always clink a few ice cubes in the glass (note that the glass does not come with the ice, but you must do it yourself) to keep it fresh. Perhaps it’s because it is lunch time, and the sun is at risk of warming the sweating glass. Regardless, we iced and clinked, and cheers’d (“To Us!”) and sipped. The mussels were very tasty as well, and we left  feeling sated and a bit tipsy. To clear our heads, we headed to my favorite coffee shop, Emily’s Cookies. It is a cute place owned by two American girls, located on Rue Albertini (for anyone visiting Nice). I always go there when I have an afternoon off, to read or study, as it is the closest thing to Starbucks that exists here. Two café noisettes later, we felt much better….

The amazing Carrefour....

By this time, the wind had picked up and it was getting quite chilly. We decided to head out of the center and go grocery shopping. There was a large Carrefour just ten minutes away that we had seen but never tried, so we decided to go there instead of our usual one in Monaco. Now, I have to say as we pulled into the parking lot, I felt almost as if I were back in America. Not Carrefour City (as it’s called in Monaco), but Carrefour PLANET (!) It was a metropolis of a grocery store, complete with electronics, home goods, bicycles, plants, books, not to mention the extensive organic section, boulangerie, cheese, and even sushi! I was overwhelmed. We split up to explore the various areas, each of us taking a shopping cart. Two hours later, we met up and showed our findings.

I spent a good hour just in the Organic section!

“They have everything!” I exclaimed, my excitement almost overwhelming me. I wanted to get sheets, I wanted the towels, I wanted the entire organic section. Ediz wanted the huge lounge couch set for our balcony, and couldn’t seem to tear his eyes away from it. As we added our findings, the bill was nearly 75 euros, much more than our usual shop. Lately, I have been trying to buy more things “bio”, especially chicken, milk, and eggs. Sadly, this greatly increases the total price. Ediz’s groceries usually consist of chips, snacks, some steaks, and beer, so I try to even out the nutritional distribution by including at least some whole wheat spaghetti, country bread rather than baguette, organic chicken, and other healthier snacks. We agreed it was a special shop, so it was worth the extra cost. We piled our cart nearly to the brim, and went to the SCAN checkout where you simply scan the sensor rather than unloading the entire cart. Shopping has really become quite a pleasurable experience! By this time, it was already eight and slowly getting dark. We loaded our stock into the trunk and took the highway home.

Finally chez nous, a nice (organic) dinner, and an episode of Dexter to top it off. Yes, I really missed the free days, and happily can enjoy another one today!   ❤

For Anyone Interested, here is the link of Kill Bambi, filmed Live at the Grimaldi Forum for ARTE Tv:

http://liveweb.arte.tv/fr/video/Kill_Bambi_Joroen_Verbruggen_Grimaldi_Forum_de_Monaco_ballets_monte_carlo/

And Emily’s Cookies: http://www.emiliescookies.com/

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. barefootmamaja
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 19:05:09

    great story! I hope to visit Europe one day. Oh I loove Dexter too – it was indeed a great day! lol

    Reply

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